Data: Subs and Specialty Contractors
Data, data, data. You have heard us say many times before that data is the crux of creating more productive and profitable projects. In the next few blogs, I am going to explore how data flows throughout the supply chain—from subs, to GCs, to owners. I will admit it is much easier for me to put my thoughts on paper, than it is to execute in the real world, but the first step is having a honest, candid discussion about the challenges and the opportunities for the future, and perhaps we can work together to determine how to best overcome some of these hurdles that exist.
So let’s start today by looking at subs. Subcontractors come in all different sizes. Many are small firms that provide a special service or trade, and the unfortunate reality is that many of these businesses are still using very manual processes to do estimating, takeoff, accounting and job costing, and project management.
Those that do use technology for these processes often find they have a competitive advantage over others in the market. They are able to bid faster and more accurately, and they are able to complete projects on razor thin margins.
There are also many large subs out there that leverage technology, and use it to provide value to the general contractor and owner. In many cases, these subcontracting companies are required to use a specific system (or even systems) as mandated by either the owner or general contractor. This certainly creates challenges within the company.
This is one of the big reasons why a common data standard is needed in the construction industry. There are too many disparate systems that don’t speak to each other. And even within one company it can become challenging to share that data.
This data challenge is one of the reasons companies like Rosendin Electric, www.rosendin.com, San Jose, Calif., and Faith Technologies, www.faithtechnologies.com, Menasha, Wis., have joined the Baseline to Build On initiative. Data needs to be able to easily flow throughout all stakeholders involved on a construction project.
This very topic will be discussed at the next Baseline to Build On event being held at the Faith Technologies headquarters on July 13. Then the conversation will continue on Thursday, August 24 at the Technology Day event in Redwood City, Calif.
Sam Lamonica, CIO, Rosendin Electric, will even kick off the event with a discussion about how it is leveraging technology to improve business processes. The entire event will identify how to leverage the endless opportunities being provided by data. It will focus on key business needs such as training workers, managing regulations, analyzing data, managing growth, and addressing concerns related to security and hackers.
As the data explosion continues, construction companies will need to identify what steps to take today and in the future. Perhaps it is time you join the discussion.
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